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Catch more fish with a set of rod holders!
Whether you enjoy fishing from a kayak, small skiff or a larger boat, adding a set of rod holders can help you to catch more fish. Adding a set of rod holders is the best way to keep your rod out of the way, but within easy reach when paddling, steering your boat, trolling, or when baiting a hook. A set of rod holders will also keep your rods off the deck, organized and ready for use. If you happen to fish alone, a set of rod holders will also enable you to fish with more than one rod, which means more lines in the water and more fish caught.
West Marine offers a complete selection of rod holders for fresh- or saltwater use that includes fixed-mount and removable models. Choices include flush-mount and clamp-on configurations. Popular brands include Attwood, CE Smith, Cannon, Perko, Scotty, Sea Dog, Taco Marine, Tigress and more.
Do you fish in fresh- or saltwater?
Rod holders come in nylon, ABS plastic, fiberglass, aluminum, stainless steel, chrome plated brass or zinc. While nylon and fiberglass do not corrode they are not as sturdy as treated metals. We recommend stainless steel or chrome-plated brass holders for fishing in rough waters because they are rigid enough to withstand rod motion when running or trolling in a seaway. Fiberglass and plastic are good options for budget-conscious anglers or for fishing calmer venues.
Fixed-Mount and Removable Rod Holders
Many heavy-duty rod holders are fixed because they can be installed in holes provided by the boat's designer or they are screwed onto a vertical surface like cabin sides. If your vessel isn't set up to accommodate fixed-mounted rod holders, or it is very small, we recommend removable rod holders that slide into small, vertical-mount brackets. This set-up allows you to install or remove the holder quickly and easily when not in use.
Flush-Mount and Swivel/Pivot Rod Holders
Flush mount holders that keep rods vertical or at a fixed angle of 30 degrees typically are inserted in existing holes in the gunwale. High-end models in chrome or stainless steel feature Vinyl liners to protect the rod's butt.
Some flush-mount rod holders include a swivel/pivot function which enables the rod to rotate under side-pressure, so the rod tip is always aimed at the fish. This protects fishing line from abrasion and possible breakage due to chafing on the sides of rod guides.
Clamp-on Rod Holders
Clamp-on mounts are the most versatile of the bunch, attaching either to a horizontal rail or to a vertical stanchion, making them suitable for positioning on the stern push pit, the bow pulpit on the tower, hard-top or radar arch.
Composite Adjustable Rod Holders
Composite adjustable rod holders like those by Scotty and Cannon are a convenient, economical alternative to fixed-mount or adjustable stainless-steel or brass models. They tilt, rotate and lock in place and can be mounted in a variety of spots with different mounting brackets. They may not be quite as sturdy as fixed mounted holders but they are more versatile and are often used in spinning or bait-casting set-ups.
Select rod holders that are right for the type of fishing you enjoy and the boat you own. We recommend stainless steel or chrome models for heavy-duty ocean fishing and consider nylon, fiberglass and ABS plastic rod holders to be economical alternatives for calmer waters. Angled flush-mount rod holders that install into a boat’s gunwale are the least obtrusive—and their flush-mount design eliminates the possibility of snagging your fishing line when tangling with a fish. For freshwater or light-inshore use, composite rod holders that rotate, tilt and lock into any desired position offer good value and a lot of convenience. They are also a great choice for smaller boats and kayaks. Versatile mounting options include rail mounts, vertical bulkhead mounts, and temporary mounts that enable easy installation and removal at the end of the day.